Friday, July 29, 2016

Almost half way!

Tomorrow is the 2016 Kid's Cure Fun Run!  We are so excited and AMAZED at how far we've come toward our goal.  We are almost half way to our fundraising goal and about 1/3 of the way to our team member goal.

 I finished up the t-shirts today!  Purple for Brent's Place and Purple because it's the support color for neuroblastoma.

Here's the deal....I have two blue shirts left over from a couple years ago and two extra purple shirts from this year. For any $93 donation from now until tomorrow morning, we will send you one of these t-shirts!  All donations are of course welcome :).

Purple XL, Blue L, Purple L, and Blue youth L.  If we run out or you need a different size...I will make more, they will just be white :).

I can't wait to share pictures from our adventures in the morning!

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Upsides of Leaving Your Deep Freezer Door Open for 17 Days

We've been traveling for the last 17 days and put 3500 miles on the van.  It was great to see family and friends in Washington and Oregon as well as some interesting sites along the way.  While we were off enjoying the Pacific Northwest, our freezer door was cracked open...cooling away.

The Battle of Little Big Horn was an unexpected treat!  I did not realize it was so close to Colorado in Montana just past the Wyoming border.  Here is the site of Custer's Last Stand.

Fireworks in Monroe, Washington are no joke.  Every third house was shooting off huge bombs.  I'm not even exaggerating, well maybe a little, but it couldn't have been less than every fifth house.  Colorado would've been burned to dust.

The Pike Place Market is always fun.  The kids thought the flowers were beautiful and the fish were stinky.

We hiked to a beautiful lookout at the top of Hurricane Hill in Olympic State Park, but the clouds were stage hogs.

The hike went above the clouds at the top of this picture.   It was neat to go through so many layers of atmosphere and ecosystems.


Forts are cool. This was at Fort Flagler.

We went to Mount St. Helen's.  Again...those clouds were needy for attention and blocked the actual crater.  The visitor center there is top notch.

The Umpqua River provided lots of fun.

In-N-Out was something to look forward to after a 13 hour drive.  We all decided it is good, but Big Al's is better.  Fort Collins friends, your craving will be satisfied right here.  Well, maybe not the shakes.

When we got home I went to put the ice packs back into our deep freezer and discovered the goo. Meat and frozen vegetable and frozen fruit goo.  Ew.

While cleaning up the mess, I was cheering myself up with the various upsides of leaving the freezer door cracked for 17 days.
  1. The freezer worked hard for 17 days to keep everything cool (including the garage), so not all was lost.  The bread was cool enough to keep.
  2. That casserole from 2011 needed go!
  3. The next day was trash day, and since we were gone for 17 days, it was ready to receive the contents of one nasty freezer.  Our garbage man hates us today.  
  4. The rum for tiramisu doesn't need to stay frozen.  I can still make tiramisu (or a cocktail).
  5. When do you get a chance to clean out your deep freezer?
  6. My husband loves to shop at Costco with the kids.  We can get new food.
  7. Those super awesome freezer packs from when Esther was getting medicine shipped across the country to our house did an excellent job of keeping the cheese sticks firm!  
  8. Because our daughter had cancer, I'm terrified of chemical cleaners.  BUT...I'm also now a germaphobe, and rest stops are gross, so I had bought a multi pack of chemical filled cleaning wipes.  Turns out many of the rest stops weren't as gross as I was thinking, I had plenty left to kill the germs in my freezer.  
  9. All these reminders of cancer brought to mind that there are worse things than coming home to goo in the garage.  For example, childhood cancer and families that need a place to stay during treatment like Brent's Place.  
  10. And I smiled because we have awesome family and friends who have put Team Esther into FIRST place and we are about 25% of the way to our fundraising goal and 20% to our participant goal!! 
If you're still wanting to sign up, join us!  You won't regret it!  Registration is free.  Raise as much as you can, and come have fun!  You can register here:

Can't walk but want to help? Pick a participant and leave a donation on their page.

Now on the downside...that goo leaked out into the garage, so off to scrub the floor with bleach.  Meat goo is not something you want lingering in your garage!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Four Years Ago

Four years ago, while eating in the cafeteria at Children's Hospital in Denver, our friends sent us this picture.  Look at that sweet little girl.

This picture brought us great comfort as we awaited the answers from the biopsies being taken from her head.  The results were not what we had hoped, and Esther was diagnosed with cancer.  I remember the day vividly.  The doctor was wearing a light blue plaid shirt.

As we are now four years from that dreadful day, I find June 22 less sober.  I can breathe a little.  Even celebrate.  Esther is healthy.  We are still a family of 7.  When I made lunch for my kids while Esther was in the hospital and pulled out five plates, my stomach would be sick because I would need to put one away.  It was a visible reality that I might not be making lunch for five children.

But today, I make lunch for five!  A way we are celebrating Esther's health is with a big fundraiser for an organization that we dearly love, Brent's Place.   You can read all about our goal here, but I've made a few fun ways for you to join us;

  • Join Team Esther:    We are hoping for 109 Team members to represent each of the 109 days we lived at Brent's Place.  So far we're at WE NEED YOU!
  • Donate to Team Esther:  You can just donate the team or pick a fundraiser from the bar that says, "Would you like this donation to be credited to someone's fundraising page?" and give them a donation!  We have a team goal of raising 109 days worth of money for one family...over $10,000.  We can do it with your help!
  • Print out this Team Esther Flyer and collect donations in your 'hood or workplace.  

Thank you for loving us through Esther's journey, and I hope you can join us on July 30th at the Kids Cure!  

Saturday, May 28, 2016

109 people, $10,193, and Fun

Before your summer gets too busy, we would be so honored to have you join us  at one of our family's summer highlights, the Brent's Place Kids Cure fun run.

It is difficult to express the measure of love we feel for Brent's Place.  From time to time I whisper a prayer that God would bring us to Denver for the purpose of regularly supporting and caring for families at Brent's Place.  Here's a few blog posts to refresh your memories.

Moving Along, Breathing Deeply
"I called Anthony as we left and I couldn't even describe the facility to him because tears had taken over. If you could imagine a dream facility to delight children (and their families) enduring such a difficult road, this would be the place you would build."
Let us take care of you
"When I was checking in with Allen from Brent's Place he walked through the financial portion of staying here. Because of generous contributors to the foundation that supports Brent's Place, our stay is free. As I was talking with Allen about this and how amazing it is to be able to offer this facility to families at no charge he told me that right now is the time to "let us take care of you."
Only For the Brave
"Brent's place is a refuge for the parents, the brave kids fighting cancer, and their siblings. It is a place where they don't have to worry about getting sick or having a break down. A place for kids to be kids, to make friends, and for parents to not have to explain because they are understood."
We lived at Brent's Place, a home for immune compromised children and their families, for 109 days during Esther's cancer treatment.

We have a wild goal this year, and we will need LOTS of help to get there.

 109 team members and $10,193.  

Saturday, July 30, 2016
General's Park in Aurora, CO

We would like to have a team member for every day we lived at Brent's Place.  Would you be one of the 109 team members?!

Out of town?  That's okay!  Join the team, make a donation, share your fundraising page, and raise some money.  Then on July 30th, take a fun walk or hike.

Why 10,193?  The cost for one day's stay at Brent's Place is $93.  If every team member raises $93, we will raise enough to provide another family 109 days of safety, healing, and incredible support.

  • Join Team    We are hoping for 109 Team members to represent each of the 109 days we lived at Brent's Place.  So far we're at WE NEED YOU!
  • Donate to Team  You can just donate the team or pick a fundraiser from the bar that says, "Would you like this donation to be credited to someone's fundraising page?" and give them a donation!  We have a team goal of raising 109 days worth of money for one family...over $10,000.  We can do it with your help!
  • Print out this Team Esther Flyer and collect donations in your 'hood or workplace.  

The run is FUN for the whole family.  There's obstacles and dance parties, water fun, a pancake breakfast, and games to play after the run.  Check out this video!

Kids Cure for Cancer Recap from Studio Hippo on Vimeo.

We look forward to seeing you this summer!  It will be as much a gift to to us as it will be to the family whose stay we work together to provide.